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About Miri

Miri is the second largest city in Sarawak, which is one of the two Malaysian states located on Borneo Island. Miri shares a common border with Brunei and Indonesia and a greater part of it comprises the basin of Sarawak’s second longest river, Sungei Baram and its many tributaries including Melinau, Tutoh, Bakong, Tinjar, Lian, Pau, Terawan, Aju, Liang, Lanai, Palutan and many others.

Geographical Location, Climate & Population 
The city of Miri faces the South China Sea and is situated along the banks of the Miri River. The river mouth is close to the town center and a 12 kilometer long peninsula abuts the coast and the city. Part of the city is surrounded by a ridge known as Canada Hill where Malaysia’s first oil well, Miri Oil Well Number 1 (fondly referred to as the Grand Old Lady) successfully struck oil in August 1910.

Miri has an equatorial climate with a dry season from April to September and a wet, cooler season from October to March when the monsoon holds sway. The city has about 300,000 people with Chinese being the majority followed by Ibans, Bidayuhs, Malays, Melanaus and there are a small minority of the Orang Ulu people (native people living in the interiors) such as Kayans, Kenyahs, Penans, Punans, Kelabits and Berawans who mainly reside in the more remote and forested areas in the Miri’s interior.

Getting to Miri & Away
Miri is the gateway to Brunei’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan, which is about two hours drive away.  Miri is the staging point for adventure treks into the interior of Borneo, or pleasant day trips into the green rainforest.  Lambir Hills, Niah and Loagan Bunut National Parks may be reached by car.  Inland travel is undertaken by boat, by 4WD on rugged roads, or by small planes, which skim over the wild terrain and land in the cool highlands of central Borneo. 

Legend has it that seven fairy princesses once resided around the Latak waterfalls at Lambir Hills National Park and these spirits enticed men to bathe in the pools.  The mythical ladies are safely married by now, so the area is considered safe for single men.  The park is easily accessible by car 30 minutes from Miri city.

One of Southeast Asia’s most important prehistoric site, Niah National Park, lies a mere two hours drive, on good road systems, from Miri city.  Here, visitors can stare in awe at the fragments of a skull belonging to young 40,000 year old homo-sapiens. Significant rock paintings embellish the walls of burial cave ‘Kain Hitam’, where boat – shaped coffins rested on the dry cave ground, liberally sprinkled with grave gifts such as ancient ceramics and glass beads.

The ‘shrinking lake’ Loagan Bunut gives its name to Loagan Bunut National Park.  In the dry months of February until June, it is possible to walk right across dry mud flats of this popular bird-watching site.  During the rainy season, they fill up to form a large, shallow lake.  Wildlife changes with the seasons, wading birds giving way to insect eaters as the waters recede. 

Miri is often the stopover point for visitors traveling to the Gunung Mulu National Park. The Gunung Mulu National Park is world heritage site famous for its impressive cave complex and the biodiversity and scenic beauty of the whole park is just as breathtaking. Beside the popularly visited Deer, Lang, Clearwater and Lady’s Caves, a more strenuous trek leads to a weird landscape of razor-sharp rock pinnacles.

The canopy skywalk, the world’s longest tree-based structure, in Gunung Mulu National Park allows visitors a glimpse of life in the treetops of the rainforest. 480 meters of walkway hang 20 metres above the forest floor, forming a circular route suspended between 15 trees with a separate exit tower.

Malaysia Airlines (MAS) and MASwings connects Miri to the neighboring towns such as Bintulu, Mukah, Marudi, Limbang, Bario and Lawas as well as to very small isolated hamlets such as Long Lellang, Long Banga and Long Seridan.

There are several direct daily flights to Miri served by Malaysia Airlines and Air Asia from three of Malaysia’s international airports such as Kuala Lumpur, Kota Kinabalu and Kuching.

Hotels, Shopping, Food & Entertainment Miri caters to many visitors from neighboring oil-rich Brunei with its strong currency vis-à-vis the Malaysian ringgit and affluent populace. There is a wide range of accommodation available in Miri from star-rated international hotels to downtown hotels, budget inns and guest houses. 
Miri has a number of modern high rise shopping complexes and other more run-of-mill commercial centers as it is the main commercial hub for towns and villages in its division as well as those in Bintulu and Limbang divisions. Modern malls make Miri a shopping paradise for visitors and tourists, and these complexes provide facilities and services such as banking, food, hotel accommodation and entertainment outlets under one roof.

Miri offers excellent food and entertainment outlets and there are many pubs, bars, cafes and karaoke lounges. The lively after-dark scene at Pelita Commercial Center is concentrated on pubs like Chaplin, Island, Crescendo, The Other Office, Cherries Berries and others. The party goers gather after 10:00pm, including yuppies, wannabes, expatriates and tourists.

Eating out is a Malaysian pastime, and the offer is unlimited in Miri with food outlets ranging from fine dining, exotic foreign restaurants and bistros serving western cuisines to Chinese, Malay and local authentic dishes at seafood restaurants, cafes, and roadside food stalls. 

Miri is a seafood paradise and the best place to savor fish, prawns, crabs, squibs, clams, mussels and other sea creatures. Day and night hawkers offer a unique dining experience at economical rates. Food stalls with their plastic chairs and tables are easily recognizable, especially along North Yu Seng Road, Jalan Permaisuri, Taman Selera, Taman Seroja, and at the Saberkas Commercial Center.